Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @LivingGodsTruth
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A man who was "offending" Mall of America shoppers with his "Jesus Saves" T-shirt earlier this month — and who was ordered by mall security to remove the shirt or leave the premises — eventually was allowed to stay in the mall and keep the shirt on, the mall said.
"The guest referenced in the video was approached by Mall of America security on January 7, 2023. One week prior, he was issued a 24-hour trespass for soliciting guests. After a brief interaction, the guest was not required to change his shirt and was allowed to remain at the Mall," the mall said in a statement to KARE-TV.
What's the background?
Cellphone video captured the confrontation involving a Mall of America security guard telling the man that his shirt was "offending" shoppers at the famously large mall in Bloomington, Minnesota — and the guard ordered the man to remove the shirt or leave the mall.
Image source: Facebook video screenshot via @Kameko Rawls, composite
What are the details?
Alpha News — an independent outfit that covers news across the state that often goes unreported — wrote about the confrontation and linked to a pair of clips showing the man talking with security guards near the mall’s rotunda.
The back of man's shirt reads “Jesus is the only way" and includes the well-known “coexist” symbol crossed out, the outlet said.
“Jesus is associated with religion, and it’s offending people,” a security guard tells the man in one clip, adding that "people have been offended.”
The guard then tells the man to remove his shirt or leave the mall.
“I didn’t say anything, though," the man replies. "I didn’t speak .... I didn’t say anything. I just went to Macy’s."
The guard adds, “Again ... I’m giving you a couple options: take the shirt off, and you can go to Macy’s, and you can do your shopping — or you can leave the mall, OK? Those are your only options right now."
A second cut in the same clip shows the guard getting angry as he sharply tells the man, "If you want to shop here, you need to take that shirt off!"
The man asks what's wrong with the shirt, and the guard replies — with his voice still raised — that "it is religious soliciting; there is no soliciting allowed on mall property, which is private property!"
The guard adds, "We've had guests come up saying that they've been offended by your shirt ... take the shirt off, and you can go shopping!"
\u201cI automatically assumed this was overseas, but it's right here in America.\u201d— John Mason (@John Mason) 1673536746
Here's another clip that ends with the man in the "Jesus Saves" shirt giving a fist bump to different guard, and the man in the shirt and the guards part ways. It wasn't clear from the video if the man left the mall or not:
Alpha News said the mall prohibits “inappropriate attire,” including apparel that “has obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance.” The outlet added that the mall also disallows “picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting, or petitioning.”
Alpha News also said it repeatedly contacted Mall of America last week for comment but that the mall didn't respond.
A group called Bloomington Patriots plans to demonstrate at the mall Feb. 4 and is asking attendees to wear “Jesus shirts," Alpha News said.
As it happens, the outlet added that the Mall of America hosted and promoted a drag show for “all ages” about a year ago year in its “iconic rotunda.”
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Sr. Editor, News
Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.